MGoBlog has moved. The new site can be found at

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

BARWWWWWIIIIIIIS. Never in the history of a football program has a fanbase been more geeked about a S&C coach than Michigan fans about Mike Barwis. Heck, this blog put the guy on a par with Rodriguez's offensive and defensive coordinators during the battle over various Rodriguez assistants. Mike Barwis thinks Chuck Norris is a girl. Mike Barwis can't tell the difference between Woody Allen and Bill Brasky. Etc.

These are reasons why:

But Barwis always finds time to reach each player on a personal level. He is a brother to some, father to other, priest to those who need some spiritual guidance and warden, if necessary.

It is difficult to imagine what it is like to be cooped up in a weight room with Barwis, who is hard as granite and wound so tight that he literally can’t take a break from his routine. If you think you get a jolt out of 5-Hour Energy Drink, get yourself a transfusion of Barwis’ blood, if you can get him to lie still on a table long enough to part with it.
The rest of the article is a pretty remarkable story about Barwis' relationship with Pacman Jones, he of the making it rain and year-long NFL suspension. Jones -- maybe the NFL most infamous misbehaver -- started his career at WVU in the fashion you might expect: beating some dude with a pool cue. Enter Barwis, then a new hire:
Upon arriving, Barwis adopted Jones as his own personal project, and the two grew extremely close.

It was tough love, to be sure, but Barwis became the male figure in Jones’ college life that he had always lacked in the real world.

One example of the way Barwis treated Jones could be found in his sophomore season when he was late for a weight-lifting session. Barwis gave an angry glare, shoved a 40-pound sandbag to him to work with and, when he was breathing hard, sent him off running around Mountaineer Field.

“He thought it was OK to be late, so I always made him pay tenfold,” Barwis told ESPN last year. “After awhile, you get disciplined.”

Whatever Barwis did worked, for Jones remained trouble free at WVU until leaving for the NFL, a first-round pick of the Tennessee Titans.
From there you know the story; a number of the hits when you type "mike.barwis eeeee i'm a little girl for mike.barwis" into Google are stories about Pacman's misbehavior in the pros. Barwis usually attempts to defend the guy as a decent person in the wrong crowd. This might be unremarkable, but the mere fact that he's the guy media folks get in touch with instead of his position coach or Rodriguez speaks to the role he has in these kids' lives.

Clap back. Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski picks up the torch on Jay Bilas and his obsession with Tommy Amaker's firing, and he's got backup:
It was one thing for ESPN’s Jay Bilas to keep defending Tommy Amaker’s brutal run as coach at Michigan, but another to start going after his successor, John Beilein, for being honest about the pitiful program left him in Ann Arbor.

The more Bilas shills for Amaker, the more people in basketball laugh at him.

Unlike Amaker, Beilein never had the ultimate coaching godfather to pick up the phone and get him a job. [OH SNAP -ed]

“C’mon Jay, that is terrible,” an NBA scout who watched Amaker’s team regularly in the Big Ten emailed me this week after reading Bilas’ blog rant.

“Almost laughable, really.”
Jay, this is your credibility. I'm dyin' here.

Light 'em up. Varsity Blue takes issue with a dumb article that appeared in the Free Press urging Terrelle Pryor to go to Ohio State, and I was going to give it a once-over, too, but the author of that piece explained himself to VB like so:
You should know that I was asked by the Freep Web editor to write that column as a counterpoint to the why-Pryor-should-go-to-Michigan column that ran on the site a few days earlier. I reckon that if the site editors properly packaged them as a point-counterpoint, the vitriol would have been reduced a little. Instead, people think I wrote that on my own initiative, which isn’t true in the least.

Anyway, I regret doing it for several reasons. First, I’m not a columnist. I’m a copy editor. In hindsight, to ask a copy editor to write a column during a 30-minute break in his “normal” shift was unfair. It prevented me from putting sufficient thought into my points and crafting them into a suitable fashion. I admit that the column, as it ran, was shallow. Oh, well. I won’t make such a mistake in the future.
The Free Press web editor was going for cheap hits and Janke got to privilege of being the stool pigeon. Depressing that this stuff must work -- otherwise how could a useless sack of negativity like Drew Sharp keep his job? -- but this is just another example why newspaper sports sections are bound to suck at opinion. One: the article as posted lacked a significant disclaimer. Janke was not identified as a fervent OSU fan who went to State. Two: it was directed to be written no matter the merit behind it. Three: a half-hour window was allotted for it. As long as the bottom line is attention today, attention tomorrow will continue to bleed as more and more people get fed up with idiocy passing as opinion.

The end result of the editor-enforced Pryor article was to make me wonder if this bit on third-string quarterback Robbie Schoenhoft's transfer...
With Schoenhoft gone, the Buckeyes look closer to capitalizing on Ohio State coach Jim Tressel's promise to design the offense around a dual-threat quarterback, much like he did for former Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith.
...was intentionally left in to foster controversy. Schoenhoft's transfer signals only one thing: big-time schools probably shouldn't offer pocket passers who complete 37% of their passes in high school no matter how many Nazis the kid can throw a football through. Schoenhoft's departure means as much to Terrelle Pryor as the status of Michigan's David Cone.

This guy's gonna feel stupid if there's a decommit. Uh...

If you want a hand-painted Sam McGuffie action figure.... well, you're out of luck since the auction ended Sunday. But if you just want to marvel at the internet, go right ahead.

Slaton's out. This might be standard justification for departure stuff, but Steve Slaton simultaneously gave the departing WVU coaching staff high praise and a bit of a middle finger:
Yesterday afternoon, Carl Slaton, Steve's father, told the Daily News that the family is hearing from NFL people that Steve is being projected as a second-round selection. But, Carl said, "the NFL draft is a crapshoot."

Carl said it was not an easy decision, but, in the end, "it was pushed on him with [WVU coach Rich] Rodriguez leaving [for Michigan] and taking the whole coaching staff."

According to Steve, the departure of offensive coordinator/running backs coach Calvin Magee had the biggest impact on his decision. Magee will become Rodriguez' offensive coordinator at Michigan.

"More than anything else it's that [Magee] also left the program," Steve said. "He taught me so much of what I needed to know, and he wasn't finished, and he would have taught me the rest. It wouldn't have been the same under someone else."

Sorry, Slaton.

Hey, remember when we used to beat Ohio State? 1988, courtesy of Wolverine Historian:

There is also this remarkable home video from an unidentified 1959 game:

I wish our current cheerleaders did more goofy stuff like that.

Etc.: Remarkable story with Bill McCartney's old Rose Bowl ring at MVictors; Michigan will be playing faster next year; eeeebarwis; Yost Built on the WMU sweep; the Daily's Scott Bell has a good Rodriguez column.